Biography & autobiography

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American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Duff Cooper Prize 2008, Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2006, National Book Critics Circle for Biography 2005

by Martin J. Sherwin & Kai Bird

J. Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting...


The Year of Magical Thinking

National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2005

by Joan Didion

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times...


De Kooning's Bicycle

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2004

by Robert Long

Some of the twentieth century's most important artists and writers--from Jackson Pollock to Saul Steinberg, Frank O'Hara to Jean Stafford--lived and worked on the East End of Long Island years before it assumed...


Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2004

by William Taubman

Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who...


Pushkin: A Biography

Samuel Johnson Prize 2003

by T.J. Binyon

In the course of his short, dramatic life, Aleksandr Pushkin gave Russia not only its greatest poetry–including the novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin–but a new literary language. He also gave it a figure of enduring...


Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy

National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2003

by Carlos Eire

“Have mercy on me, Lord, I am Cuban.” In 1962, Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Havana—exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by Fidel Castro’s revolution....


Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

Whitbread Book Award for Biography 2002

by Claire Tomalin

For a decade, beginning in 1660, an ambitious young London civil servant kept an astonishingly candid account of his life during one of the most defining periods in British history. In Samuel Pepys, Claire Tomalin...


Rosalind Franklin

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology 2002

by Brenda Maddox

In 1962, Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson received the Nobel Prize, but it was Rosalind Franklin's data and photographs of DNA that led to their discovery.

Brenda Maddox tells a powerful story...


Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

National Book Critics Circle for Biography/Autobiography 2002

by Janet Browne

In 1858 Charles Darwin was forty-nine years old, a gentleman scientist living quietly at Down House in the Kent countryside, respected by fellow biologists and well liked among his wide and distinguished circle...


Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III

The Years of Lyndon Johnson #3

National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2002, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2002

by Robert A. Caro

The most riveting political biography of our time, Robert A. Caro’s life of Lyndon B. Johnson, continues. Master of the Senate takes Johnson’s story through one of its most remarkable periods: his twelve...


Seldom Disappointed

Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction 2001

by Tony Hillerman

When Tony Hillerman looks back at seventy-six years spent getting from hardtimes farm boy to bestselling author, he sees lots of evidence that Providence was poking him along. For example, when an absentminded...


Theodore Rex

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2001

by Edmund Morris

Theodore Rex is the story—never fully told before—of Theodore Roosevelt’s two world-changing terms as President of the United States. A hundred years before the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, “TR”...


Bad Blood

PEN/Ackerley Prize 2001, Whitbread Book Award for Biography 2000

by Lorna Sage

Blood trickles down through every generation, seeps into every marriage. An international bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Biography Award, Bad Blood is a tragicomic memoir of one woman's escape from a...


Baltimore's Mansion: A Memoir

RBC Taylor Prize 2000

by Wayne Johnston

In this loving memoir Wayne Johnston returns to Newfoundland-the people, the place, the politics-and illuminates his family's story with all the power and drama he brought to his magnificent novel, The Colony...


Way Out There In the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 2000

by Frances FitzGerald

Way Out There in the Blue is a major work of history by the Pulitzer Prize­winning author of Fire in the Lake. Using the Star Wars missile defense program as a magnifying glass on his presidency, Frances FitzGerald...


Jefferson Davis, American

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2000

by William J. Cooper

From a distinguished historian of the America South comes this thoroughly human portrait of the complex man at the center of our nation's most epic struggle.

Jefferson Davis initially did not wish to leave the...


Véra: (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2000

by Stacy Schiff

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both “monumental” (The Boston Globe) and “utterly romantic” (New York magazine), Stacy Schiff’s...


Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 1999

by Judith Thurman

A scandalously talented stage performer, a practiced seductress of both men and women, and the flamboyant author of some of the greatest works of twentieth-century literature, Colette was our first true superstar....


Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology 1999

by Dava Sobel

Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called...


Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

Whitbread Book Award for Biography 1998

by Amanda Foreman

The winner of Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize and a bestseller there for months, this wonderfully readable biography offers a rich, rollicking picture of late-eighteenth-century British aristocracy and...